Balloon launch to highlight stillbirth charity

Pupils released balloons in memory of little lives lost before birth.

Children at Highfield Primary School, Ford Estate, have been learning about charity 4Louis and its work to promote the devastating effects of stillbirths.

It was founded by Kirsty McGurrell and her family after the 21-year-old from Houghton lost her baby Louis, 12 days before his due date last December.

Since the trauma, Kirsty has thrown herself into raising funds to have keepsake boxes put in place in hospitals to ease families of stillborn babies through their grief.

The boxes, which are now stocked by Sunderland Royal Hospital, contain items such as a guardian angel and a clay mould for baby's hands and feet.

Highfield pupils raised more than 140 from a non-uniform day for the charity and released balloons in memory of stillborn babies.

One pupil, Bobby Redpath, even brought along all his savings in coppers – which totalled 15 – to donate to the charity.

Sarah Smart, whose children, Kira, Dion, Sophie and Katelyn, attend the school said: "Stillbirth is a subject that has never really been spoken about before, but Kirsty is doing a fantastic job of making people aware of the issue."

A fund-raising night for 4Louis will take place from 7pm on May 7, at the Top Club, Washington.

For more details visit www.4louis.webs.com